Jury set in clergy sex abuse trial

Posted: March 05, 2012

Ending a two-week screening process, lawyers on Monday chose a retired nurse and an airport security guard as the final alternate jurors for the conspiracy and child-sex abuse trial of three current and former Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.

The 10 alternates will join six male and six female jurors in the courtroom during the trial but participate in deliberations only if any of the original 12 are removed or withdraw from serving.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin March 26, and the trial is projected to last as long as four months.

With jury selection ended, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina asked prosecutors and defense lawyers to return next Monday for pretrial arguments.

Msgr. William J. Lynn, a former administrator for the archdiocese, faces endangerment charges for allegedly recommending abusive priests for assignments that gave them access to children. His codefendants - the Rev. James J. Brennan and Edward Avery, a former priest - are accused of sexually assaulting two boys in separate incidents in the 1990s.

All have pleaded not guilty.


Contact staff writer John P. Martin at 215-854-4774 or jmartin@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @JPMartinInky.

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